Video of Syrian journalist reporting from Idlib falsely linked to Israel-Hamas conflict

By: Ankita Kulkarni
December 22 2023

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Video of Syrian journalist reporting from Idlib falsely linked to Israel-Hamas conflict

Screenshot of social media posts sharing the video falsely claiming that it shows a journalist in Gaza recording Hamas attacks on Israel. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video shows Syrian journalist Jamil Alhasaan reporting on retaliatory strikes launched by Syrian rebels against military targets in Aleppo.

Claim ID 7c1bad5c

What is the claim?

A minute-long video circulating on social media shows a journalist, wearing a protective vest with the text ‘Press’ written on it, reporting in Arabic with small missile-like weapons being launched in the background. Several users have linked the video to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict to insinuate that several journalists reporting from Gaza support violence against Israeli civilians and even mock the killing of media persons in attacks by Israeli forces. A user on X (formerly Twitter) shared the video (archived here) with the caption: “Peaceful journalist documenting peaceful Hamas terrorists launching rockets toward Israeli civilians. Next time you see in the news that a journalist in Gaza died, you should know that he's not innocent.” The post garnered over 236,000 views and over 2,800 likes at the time of publishing. Archived versions of similar other posts can be viewed here and here.

Screenshot of social media posts sharing the video claiming that it shows a Gazan journalist.
(Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we found that the viral clip shows a Syrian journalist named Jamil Alhasaan reporting on the ongoing conflict in Idlib, a province in Syria. The video is unrelated to the current Israel-Hamas conflict.

What are the facts?

We reached out to the Jordan-based fact-checking organization Fatabyyano to understand what the man was saying in the viral video and inferred that he was reporting on a conflict in Syria. While recording his byte into the camera, he is constantly interrupted by the missile launches in the background, and in the bits that are audible, he says: “In the name of Allah, the entirely merciful, the especially merciful, in response to the targeting of civilians…In response to targeting, in the liberated areas, specifically in Idlib markets…In response to targeting…In response to targeting civilians in the liberated areas, seeking revenge for our children, revenge for the families of civilians in the Idlib Markets, Afes, and Sarmin.” Idlib is a province in northwestern Syria that is currently under the control of Syrian rebels. Afis and Sarmins are towns in Idlib.

A reverse image search on one of the clips’ keyframes led us to a post on X shared on December 10 by the account ‘@Jamil_Alhasaan.’ The post included the same video and was accompanied by an Arabic caption that roughly translated to: “In response to the frequent targeting of civilian neighborhoods, markets, and schools in the city of Idlib, Al-Fateh Al-Mubin operations target military barracks in Nubl and Al-Zahraa in the Aleppo countryside.” Al-Fateh Al-Mubin is an Operations Room run by Syrian rebel groups. 

Jamil Alhasaan described himself as a Syrian journalist on his X bio. His timeline included another video of him reporting in the same attire as seen in the viral clip, captioned, “A massacre in the market of the city of Idlib: 6 martyrs, including two children, and more than 25 injuries as the Assad regime bombed the neighborhoods of the city of Idlib with rocket launchers.” Logically Facts has reached out to Alhasaan for more details on the content of the viral video, and this check will be updated if and when we receive a response. 

Screenshot of the post shared by Jamil Alhasaan. (Source: X/Screenshot)

We also searched for reports on any recent attacks on Idlib and found a report published by Al Jazeera on December 9, noting that five civilians were killed and 35 people injured in multiple airstrikes launched by the Syrian government in some areas, like a popular market and the industrial zone in Idlib governorate. Correspondingly, in retaliation, the Syrian rebels of Al-Fatah Al-Mubin Operations Room (factions created by an Islamist organization Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham and two other groups to fight the civil war) in Idlib bombed 60 missiles toward the two towns in the northern countryside of Aleppo Nubl and Al-Zahraa, which killed dozens of people, according to a report published by Syrian news agency North Press Agency on December 10.   

Additionally, the viral clip was also posted on X by ‘DD Geopolitics,’ which stated that Syrian rebels “from Idlib have claimed responsibility for terrorist attack against Syrian civilians in majority Shia cities of Nuble and Al-Zahra in Aleppo (sic).”

Logically Facts has also debunked a similar claim where a video of Jamil covering missile fire by Syrian rebels in Idlib city was misidentified as 'journalists killed in Gaza.' It can be read here.

Several journalists have been killed in Gaza ever since the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas started in early October. The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) had said that according to its preliminary investigation, as of December 21, at least 68 journalists and media persons were killed since the conflict began. 

Conflict in Idlib

A civil war is underway in Syria, where Syrian rebels have been fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government since 2011. In 2020, Turkey and Russia agreed to a ceasefire deal in Syria's Idlib region, following which hundreds have been killed or injured over the past few years in attacks that violated the truce, according to a report published by Voice of America. 

The verdict

The video of a journalist covering attacks by the Syrian rebels is falsely being shared as a Gazan journalist reporting on missiles being launched by Hamas militants toward Israeli civilians amid the ongoing conflict. The video is unrelated to Gaza; therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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